Metro Bank, the proposed amalgamation of Philadelpha's Republic First Bank with Harrisburg's Commerce Bancorp of Pennsylvania under a new name and with the financial backing and inspiration of former Commerce Bank chief Vernon Hill, is laying plans to invade Commerce's old South Jersey heartland. 

 Republic First says it plans to open offices under the Metro Bank name this Spring at 335 NJ 70 East, Cherry Hill; 30 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield; and Black Horse Pike at Ganttown Road, Washington Township; and that "two of those locations will be built to a soon-to-be-unveiled Metro Bank prototype store design."

Said Republic First CEO Harry Madonna in a statement, "This entry into Southern New Jersey will kick-start rapid new store expansion for us." He also promised Commerce-style seven-day service, free checking, "smiling" staff, and "banking with no stupid rules". We're wondering: Will Shirley Hill's InterArch design firm lay out or furnish the new branches? Stay tuned.